Find out what they’re listening to before the game, who they’re excited to go up against this season, and more.
Caitlin Jacob, Daily Advertiser
The St. Thomas More Lady Cougars volleyball team always sets the bar high, as they have a rich tradition of winning state titles.
Even though the Lady Cougars have won state as recently as 2016, it feels like it’s been longer than, as the Teurlings Catholic Lady Rebels moved up from Division III into the Cougars’ Divsion II in 2017 and have now won back-to-back state titles.
The Lady Cougars fell short in the semi-finals last season, but this years team appears to a have a shot at getting back to the state title game with a strong group of seniors.
“I’m looking forward to growing with this team,” Lady Cougars head coach Jessica Burke said. “We’ve got a good group of seniors. They’re all different, but they get along really well.”
Anna Trahan celebrates as Teurlings Catholic takes on St Thomas More Volleyball. Sept. 3, 2019. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/THE ADVERTISER)
The Lady Cougars have several experienced seniors that will have important roles, including Ana Trahan, Paige Hebert, Abigail Spence and Graysen Cox.
“I’m ready to go out with a bang with the best team I could have possibly in my last year,” Cox said. “This is the best team I could’ve had, and I’m so excited to spend my last season with them and getting better with them.”
Cox is a middle blocker and is a leader for the Cougars on the front line, as she helps keep the team’s energy level up.
“I feel like I’m a very steady player,” Cox said. “I never really get down on myself, always cheering others on. Just positive and kind of like a rock of the front row. We have a very good energy, very good chemistry. We’ve all been playing together since we were in middle school, so all just know where to go, we all trust each other, it’s a very good bond.”
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The Lady Cougars also have a strong duo of setters in senior Georgia Hebert and junior Bailey Toups.
“They (Hebert and Toups) are our little spots of sunshine,” Burke said. “They help brighten our day and they run the offense very well.”
Even though Toups is one of the few juniors in the starting lineup, she plays well with her senior teammates and has a strong knowledge of the game.
“A lot of us have been playing together for a really long time,” Toups said. “We have a very good bond on the court and off the court, so I feel like that’s really going to help us a lot this season. I’ve been setting for awhile, so I think I have a good knowledge of the game, so I think that helps, and I’m pretty energetic on the court, so I think that helps too.”
Cougars setter Georgia Hebert as Teurlings Catholic takes on St Thomas More Volleyball. Sept. 3, 2019. (Photo: SCOTT CLAUSE/THE ADVERTISER)
Hebert is a high-energy player who excels at communicating with her teammates and is ready to do whatever it takes to get back to the state title game.
“I’m most looking forward to working super hard because we definitely can win state this year, and that’s our goal,” Hebert said. “Like Bailey said, we both have a lot of knowledge about the game in general, and I have like a big personality and am always talkative to everyone.”
It will take a valiant effort by the Lady Cougars to reach their state title goal, but they appear to have the experience and team chemistry in order to do so.
“We definitely need to be consistent performers and minimize errors,” Burke said. “We definitely have the experience, just have to be in the right mindset. The to key it is not settling. We’ll have to keep working hard to get to that championship level and have a commitment to doing the little things right.”
Spencer Urquhart covers high school sports for The Daily Advertiser. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @surquhart98.